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Sierra Front: Bringing trails together

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

With Tahoe-area trails run by federal and state agencies and local non-profits, one group is seeking to bring them all together.

The Sierra Front Recreation Coalition is working to connect different regional trail groups as well as to create and maintain trails and outdoor recreation opportunities nearby. The nonprofit recently received an $18,000 grant from the Nevada Commission on Tourism to complete a Web site that will act as a one-stop shop for trail information in the area.

Paquita Bath, a spokesperson for Sierra Front, said the grant from the Nevada Commission on Tourism, as well as a $15,000 grant from Reno’s REI store, will be used to develop Sierra Front as the clearinghouse for regional trail resources.

“With the Web site you’ll be able to say you want to go snowshoeing and it will pop up all the trails,” Bath said. “We want to raise awareness and funds for the area’s outdoor recreation.”

Former Truckee Mayor Beth Ingalls said the Web site will provide comprehensive information on trails that would otherwise be scattered through different organizations’ outreach programs.

“It’s a grand vision but I think it’s do-able,” Ingalls said.

Ingalls, the nonprofit’s latest addition, joined in December to perform a variety of jobs.

“She is just terrific,” said Chuck Greene, president of the Sierra Front board of directors. “She will be working with all of our projects, as well as outreach and public relations.”

Ingalls said another Sierra Front goal will be to create an electronic database of trail volunteers, allowing local organizations to call on Sierra Front for not only funding, but also for the assistance of trail crews.

“We are focused on finding out what needs are, in and around the Basin, for recreation,” Ingalls said. “My hope is that eventually this group will be able to distribute funding when a trail needs to be built.”

Bath said one of the Sierra Front’s current trail-building projects is the Reno-to-Rim Trail, connecting Reno to the Tahoe Rim Trail, which could be completed as soon as the summer of 2009.

Greene said depending on the exact route, the trail will be about 15 miles long and will serve hikers and bicyclists.

Mount Rose Ski Tahoe added a voluntary $5 donation on its season passes for the trail, Greene said, and more than 1,600 passholders have donated so far.

“With tourism there is a lot of pressure on the Tahoe Basin, so we are trying to develop recreation around the Basin, which will allow people to spread out more, putting less pressure on Tahoe,” Greene said.

Sierra Front will also be hosting a trail-building training conference in May, which last year was attended by more than 100 participants, Greene said.


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